The 4 Characteristics of a Living Legend

Hunter S. Thompson and Bill Murray, circa 1980. 

Hunter S. Thompson and Bill Murray, circa 1980. 

Hey gorgeous. Yeah, I thought that’d get you. ‘Cause if you’re anything like me, you spend a fair amount of time thinking about yourself. I’m not calling you vain. I’m just calling you human. 

‘Cause that’s the thing about us, all of us. As humans, we want to be significant. We want our lives to matter. Heck, who doesn’t? We worry about this quite a bit. Enough to put lines in our otherwise perfectly moisturized faces. Speaking of our faces, we curate them. We curate our bodies. We curate our weekend plans. We curate our weekday plans. We curate our life stories. We curate our inner circles, Insta feeds, catch phrases, signature looks, playlists, and every other thing we can possibly think to curate. So freaking curated! Meanwhile, we pore through the pages of the latest blog, half voyeruring and two-thirds searching for answers. 

Yeah I know the math doesn’t add up, but eff it! This is some serious shit! These are some heavy questions! How will I make something of myself? How will I become something more than just another jerkoff with a job and a mortgage?  Sure, I look good on paper, but how do I transcend the paper and the laptop and the desk and the office and all of the bullshit that goes into looking good on paper?  How do I actually live the kind of life that ensures I will never look back and wonder whether I really squeezed it to the very last drop? To become a living legend in my own right?  I mean, I’m not looking for fame and fortune but wouldn’t mind taking a crack at it.  Shoot for the moon and land amongst the stars, right?   

These are all fair questions and, fame and fortune or no, we all have something to learn from those seemingly untouchable personas that comprise our constellation of living legends.  And if you look closely across the lot you will inevitably find four distinct traits common amongst them all. These four traits are not myths but plain truths. Live by them and you most certainly are headed the moon’s way.

  1. Legends just say yes.

    Legends have absolutely no time for hemming and hawing. They just say yes. It’s a reflex. They say yes now and figure out how to make it happen later. (Not to be confused with people who say yes now and figure out how to make it not happen later. See: flakes.) Legends are a rare breed. Something comes their way that sounds better than a shit sandwich – they say yes. What if your whole life was one long “Yes” – a continuous, decades-long, totally presupposed, preordained, and completely assumed, big fat continual “Yes” – and “No” was the wild card that you pulled out every once in a while? Think about it. Because your life is probably the exact opposite of that right now. This is a mindset shift we’re talking about, and it is the non-negotiable baseline for everything else you’re about to read.
  2. Legends don’t work too hard.

    Let me be clear. Nobody said that legends do not work hard. Legends do not work too hard. Do you savvy the difference? Legends are getting the absolute maximum yield out of life, every minute of every day. It’s a high-yield lifestyle. They may not seem it, and they may not even realize it, but they are wicked analysts, taking stock of any situation, any time and any place, figuring out exactly what it will take to get them where they want to be. Operative words: exactly what it will take. And then they do exactly that. Not a little bit more because they’re not steaming piles of over-competitive douchebaggery. Not a little bit less because they’re nothing if not dead-accurate. This is a precision sport we’re talking about. You’ve got to be whip smart, calm under pressure, a little bit effortless, and enormously subtle to pull it off. And when you do, your life opens up like a storybook because talent in this area is what produces the raw calendar time to engage deeply in #1. 
  3. Legends view their 30s as their 20s with money.

    Legends ignore time. The name itself – legend – transcends time, space, context, and generation labels. Who the fuck cares? It’s not like some timer goes off when the clock turns 32. Except for the timer that says you now have a shit-ton* more money than you did ten years ago. Legends are people who age gracefully mostly because they completely ignore age. And let’s be clear. This is not a billy-badass-fly-in-the-face-of-aging sort of ignoring. It’s an honest-to-goodness-I-didn’t-even-notice ignoring. They view the extra wallet, extra stories, and extra fearlessness as valuable time-earned assets that are not only critical tools for the legendary lifestyle, but also impossible or at least uninteresting to obtain in any other way than through time. Someone wise once said that youth is wasted on the young, and that is something nobody knows, believes, and understands better than a living legend. Embracing, even seeking the passage of time is a talent fairly unique to this crowd. 

    *Technical term.
  4. Legends live a life true to themselves, not the life others expect of them.

    Legends are nothing if not honest – with themselves, their peers, and everyone else they come into contact with. To be crystal, legends don’t view honesty as an excuse to be rude, e.g. that girl at work who slams a co-worker and says, “I’m just being honest!” – that’s not the kind of honesty we’re talking about. In the mind of a legend, honesty is merely a way of life, a way of presenting oneself to the world. It’s being the person that you really are, unapologetically but also unpretentiously. Legends do what they want, not out of desperation or one-upmanship or anything else driven by an external locus of control. Legends are always working from an internal locus of control. It takes a lot of guts, even more humility, and a fair amount of just not caring. The reason legends prioritize honesty and living a life true to oneself above all else is that they are the marks of true freedom. Freedom to be exactly who you are. Oh, to be free – take a deep breath and imagine it. It is a state of mind and state of being that takes care and feeding. It is the prize that keeps Legends at their craft. Live Free Or Die.

BONUS ROUND: Legends yacht. And they yacht in style. Indeed, each one of them is a veritable YACHTLEGEND.  ;-)